Harbhajan says the team never left their seats during the Dravid-Laxman partnership in the 2001 Eden Gardens Test
- Harbhajan Singh looks back at arguably the greatest Test match played on Indian soil.
- The Indian off-spinner speaks about how the team never left their seats during the Laxman-Dravid partnership.
Harbhajan Singh relived his experience of the historic Eden Gardens Test in 2001, with Times of India. The off-spinner from Punjab spoke about how the game seemed to be going away from India right from the start. He also discussed how his hat-trick brought the team back into the game when it looked like they were in for another big defeat after the Mumbai Test earlier in the series.
‘Bhajji’ also credited Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman’s unforgettable partnership for turning that match around. He says they stuck to their respective seats when the partnership started developing as per a decision taken by Sachin Tendulkar.
“Once their partnership started developing, we stuck to our seats. It was a decision taken by Sachin Tendulkar. After they batted through a session, we told ourselves: 'This is the first session in which no wicket has fallen, so let's stick to the same seats.’ And that remained the pattern even the next day, when they batted the whole day”
“I didn't see a single ball. The only time I left it was to clap for Laxman, who reached his hundred, and then again I went back to it before the next ball was bowled!”
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The 39-year-old also reminisced about Sadagoppan Ramesh’s catch that helped the bowler complete his hat-trick. While Ramesh was a ‘very laidback guy’, Harbhajan says that the former Tamil Nadu batsman’s reflexes on the day left the team stunned.
After an unpleasant incident at the NCA before that series, the wily off-spinner believes his career would have been over had he not played well that series. However, he was backed by the captain and the coach at the time, and thus retained his place in the squad with some fantastic performances.
Harbhajan concluded by showering praise on the Laxman-Dravid partnership and calling it the best exhibition of batting he had ever seen.Published 18 Mar 2020, 10:17 IST